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More about new Georgia Tech assistant Ron West

Some quotes and notes that didn't fit into the story about new co-offensive line coach Ron West that didn't make it into the story that ran on myajc and in Monday's paper.

1. West recognizes the importance of quarterback Justin Thomas to Tech's scheme.

“As Justin goes, Tech will go, and Justin’s got to be able to do what Justin can do,” he said, “and what Coach (Paul Johnson) wants to do is be able to give him the opportunity to set those feet and get the ball thrown and do things.”

That said, West noted that “everything starts for us with the run. We’ve got to be able to run the football, and then the play-action stuff off of it just makes us better.”

2. Last week, West had already begun recruiting in Cobb and Cherokee counties, renewing acquaintances and starting evaluations on the 2017, 2018 and even 2019 classes. He said one area he’ll will be north Georgia, starting in Cobb and Cherokee and then going north along I-75.

“Just checking on guys and trying to get ahead of the curve a little bit in my area,” he said.

He may add South Carolina, which is territory he knows well from having coached at Clemson 1999-2008.

3. Former Clemson guard Will Merritt called West a “player’s coach” who joked with his players and sometimes had them over to his house. He fondly remembered the cookies that West’s wife Becky made for them.

“It was more than just a coach-player relationship,” he said.

Merritt also described him as “very high energy, very loud, very much willing to get in your face and tell you what you’ve done wrong, but also quick to build you back up.”

West was big on using chutes – metal frames that linemen run through to teach them to fire out low to the ground. It’s a contraption Tech line coach Mike Sewak has used plenty as well.

“He loved ’em, but I hated ’em,” Merritt said.

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About the Author

Ken Sugiura covers Georgia Tech sports for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.